Blind-Man's Bluff | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Blind-Man's Bluff


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BLIND-MAN'S BLUFF, Keyhole Players, at 'Zines & Beans. Like many new scripts, Matthew David's cautionary tale about the dangers of secrets in a relationship lands plenty of short jabs and the occasional uppercut but fails to deliver a true knockout punch. It doesn't help that the playwright has tackled an unusually challenging and complex subject, that the two characters are mostly confined to a tiny, cramped bedroom, and that the script's psychological warfare is so intense it often proves too much for the actors. Changing the placement of the play's intermission--which now drives a wedge into the script's most dramatic revelation--might allow the performers to establish some emotional continuity and a true climax; as it stands now, both hit their emotional peaks toward the middle of the production.

Still, Blind-man's Bluff gets to the heart of sexual tension as well as any John Cassavetes film or Don DeLillo novel. And David's take-no-prisoners approach, along with his gritty, undistorted dialogue, are the play's two great strengths. Ultimately there's a lot to admire about this production, especially the cast's raw, off-kilter energy and the script's beautifully frayed edges. --Nick Green

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